Collaboration is the story
Beatriz Colomina, director for almost two decades of the PhD in architecture at Princeton, situated the program in its present context. Colomina discussed the history of PhD programs in architecture schools in North America, which began at Berkeley, Penn, MIT, Princeton, Harvard, and Cornell with the intent to train professional architects as architect-scholars, to teach architectural history. She emphasized the importance of critically reassessing present directions.*
Through her approach to teaching, Colomina fosters both individual and collaborative production of knowledge. She talked extensively about the role of exhibitions as a critical research method that she introduced in the program to develop the collaborative skills essential to doctoral training and architecture as a whole. In this context, students learn through a process of research, design, and publication cultivated around selected themes. She commented on the diversity of placements that scholars graduating from Princeton can aspire to, which ranges from academic teaching to curatorial positions.